Natbuild members back together with record trading results

by | Jun 15, 2022

NatBuild. Emporium Southbank. 16/05/2022

Great news awaited Natbuild’s members as they gathered at their long-awaited national conference held at Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel from May 16 to 17, with the group reporting record sales over the past two years.

While the face-to-face event was a welcome change from the virtual events forced upon the group over the past 24 months, the national conference was well-attended by the majority of Natbuild members including the group’s newest addition, Walker Bros Timber & Building Supplies based in Gosford, New South Wales. 

Now boasting 39 independent trade focussed members, Natbuild services its trade customers from 196 individual locations across Australia with an annual turnover approaching $3 billion. 

The results achieved by the group over the past 12 months or so have seen record outcomes achieved, Natbuild’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Way said during the conference, with the outstanding performance recorded throughout the group’s national membership. 

“We have had many challenges to deal with. Our industry has been, and continues to be, under significant pressure. However, dealing with these challenges collaboratively with trading partners remains the key. It is critical that we take learnings from all these experiences, build on what has worked and continue to fine-tune what we need to do better. Essentially, we need to continue to build on our overall offer as a primary channel to the trade market,” Mr Way said.

Conference highlights
Throughout the conference it was clear that Natbuild had two very strong objectives. The first objective was to simply provide a relaxed environment so members and suppliers could reconnect, share experiences and enjoy the networking opportunities the close-knit group offers. 

The second primary objective was to ensure the content of business sessions provided were relevant, well-informed, had up-to-date industry information on the current and future challenges, while also updating members with specific business information for Natbuild members, Mr Way said.

“I believe we achieved these objectives with a good mixture of social events on both evenings, while the business sessions were delivered in a series of short sharp presentations and focused on having all participants actively engaged in the sessions,” he said.

“We know our Premium Supply Partners highly value the opportunity to network and develop stronger relationships with members through dedicated ‘one-on-one’ sessions and this was a conference highlight. The sessions provided them with the ideal forum to discuss a range of strategies, address issues, and commit to collective actions with the aim being to drive continued growth,” Mr Way said.

Networking opportunities
The first night’s welcome function took place at the ‘Terrace’ on the Emporium’s rooftop, complete with the retractable glass top ceiling showcasing amazing views of the Brisbane skyline. Musicians played a mix of classic and modern songs throughout the evening and provided the perfect atmosphere for the return of social functions to the conference. Members and suppliers revelled at the opportunity to mingle and catch up, share recent experiences and enjoy the opportunity to have a laugh and reconnect.

The second night of the conference saw members and suppliers treated to a memorable evening at Cloudland, a venue that delivers a touch of glamour and elegance. The theme for the evening was ‘Movie Stars’ and included a light-hearted session of movie trivia along with an exceptional culinary experience, plenty of laughs and the chance to enjoy each other’s company. 

During the event, the group dressed up as their favourite stars and the room was filled with an array of movie characters including Three Amigos, Austin Powers, Maverick (Top Gun), Woody & Buzz (Toy Story), Money Heist and the Blues Brothers. The Best Dressed Award was presented to Austin Powers, also known as Mike Barry, Natbuild’s National Chairman.

The final morning saw attendees treated to a fantastic store visit to Bretts Timber & Hardware at Chermside. The first stop was a visit to Bretts Trade BBQ & Barista coffee stand. This was followed by a store tour hosted by their enthusiastic staff who provided an insight into the Bretts business, a locally owned and operated trade merchant who has serviced the Brisbane trade market since 1918.

As the conference concluded, a number of members and suppliers have expressed their enjoyment and gratitude, saying that the event featured very informative and productive sessions. 

Peter McKewen of Building Material Supplies said the conference was, “well-timed, well planned and extremely well-executed, delivering significant value for members. Congratulations to all involved in the hard work of arranging the event.” 

John Lorente of Big River said the conference was “a great effort by the whole Natbuild team. It was great to get together again.”